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United States v. Nikparvar-Fard

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

December 15, 2017

UNITED STATES
v.
MEHDI NIKPARVAR-FARD, also known as MEHDI ARMANI

          MEMORANDUM

          DuBois, J.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Defendant is charged in an Indictment with one count of threatening a law enforcement officer with the intent to impede, intimidate, and interfere with the officer while he was engaged in the performance of his official duties, and with the intent to retaliate against the officer on account of the performance of his official duties, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 115(a)(1)(B), and one count of making a false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement and representation in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001. Presently before the Court is Defendant's Motion for Pretrial Release/Bail.

         On September 1, 2017, United States Magistrate Judge Thomas J. Reuter granted the Government's Motion for Temporary Detention. Thereafter, on September 8, 2017, United States Magistrate Judge Jacob P. Hart ordered that defendant be detained, finding that the Government proved by a preponderance of the evidence that no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the appearance of defendant as required, and the Government proved by clear and convincing evidence that no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the safety of other persons and the community. Defendant appealed Judge Hart's decision. Following a hearing on September 14, 2017, United States District Judge John R. Padova denied defendant's appeal.

         This Court conducted an evidentiary hearing and heard oral argument on defendant's Motion on December 7, 2017. During this hearing, by agreement of the parties, transcripts of the earlier bail hearings and the evidence presented at each such hearing were made part of the record.

         II. APPLICABLE LAW

         The Bail Reform Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3141 et seq., provides for pretrial detention when a defendant poses a risk of flight or a danger to the community. The Act provides that a judge should order pretrial detention when the judge finds that "no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the appearance of the person as required and the safety of any other person and the community." 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e)(1). In determining whether there are conditions of release that will reasonably assure the appearance of the defendant and the safety of the community, the Court should consider the following factors: the nature and circumstances of the offense charged; the weight of the evidence against the defendant; the history and characteristics of the defendant, including the defendant's character, physical and mental condition, employment, financial resources, length of residence in the community, community ties, criminal history, and records concerning appearance at court proceedings; and the nature and seriousness of the danger to any person or the community. 18 U.S.C. § 3142(g).

         To meet its burden of persuasion, the government must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant is a danger to the community, or by a preponderance of the evidence that he poses a risk of flight if released pending trial. United States v. Himler, 797 F.2d 156, 160-61 (3d Cir. 1986).

         III. FINDINGS OF FACT

         Having reviewed the submissions of the parties and the transcripts of the hearings before Magistrate Judges Reuter and Hart and District Judge Padova, and after conducting an evidentiary hearing on December 7, 2017, the Court makes the following findings of fact:

         1. There is probable cause to believe defendant threatened a law enforcement officer with the intent to impede, intimidate, and interfere with the officer while he was engaged in the performance of his official duties, and with the intent to retaliate against the officer on account of the performance of his official duties.

         2. There is probable cause to believe defendant knowingly and willfully made a false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement and representation.

         3. United States District Judge Cynthia M. Rufe issued a civil arrest warrant for defendant on August 28, 2017. Carrying out the warrant, three Deputy United States Marshals went to the Advanced Urgent Care ("AUC") facility at 5058 City Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on August 29, 2017, to arrest defendant.

         4. Two of the Marshals - Thomas Gabriel and John Grandison - entered the AUC facility and recognized defendant. The two Marshals went with defendant to defendant's private office. After the Marshals showed defendant the warrant, which named Mehdi Nikparvar-Fard, defendant pointed to the warrant and said, "That's not me." Defendant ...


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